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Watchman | [Ian Rankin]

Watchman

Bombs are exploding in London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint, a spy. The job appeals to Miles. He doesn't want action; he wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Having lost one suspect, Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irishwoman. His marriage and home seem ready to crumble. But Miles is given one last chance for redemption: a trip to Belfast, which becomes a flight of terror and murder. Can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?
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Publisher's Summary

Bombs are exploding in the streets of London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint. Miles is a spy. His job is to watch and to listen, then to report back to his superiors - nothing more. The job, affording glimpses into the most private lives of his victims, appeals to Miles. He doesn't lust after promotion, and he doesn't want action. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case.

Having lost one suspect, with horrific consequences, Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irishwoman. His marriage seems ready to crumble. So does his home. But Miles is given one last chance for redemption: a trip to Belfast, which quickly becomes a flight of terror, murder, and shocking discoveries. Can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?

©1988 Ian Rankin; © and (P)2003 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Intriguing to compare it with [Rankin's] Rebus books. It's less introspective, but still a must." (Glasgow Evening Times)
"This is a biting and superbly wrought thriller that will enthrall." (Waterstones Books Quarterly)

What Members Say

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    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 05-04-13
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 05-04-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "An excellent piece of espionage fiction"

    Ian Rankin's novel of spies and surveillance officers is engrossing, and Roger Allam reads it perfectly. There is humour, drama, pathos and excitement as we learn how surveillance work impacts not just on those who perform it, but their families too, and how a normal stake out can reveal something way beyond any expectations. The main character, Miles Flint, is a high level MI5 officer, brought vividly to life by Rankin's writing and Allam's narration. For those who love Allam's work, this is a must (especially when he adopts a Scottish accent). For those who love the Rebus series, this is an early Rankin novel, which is engaging and entertaining. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    7/26/08
    Overall
    "Complex spy story"

    This is a different style of book compared with Ian Rankin's Rebus detective series. It's closer to his style when writing under his nom de plume of Jack Harvey. It's in the same genre as John Le Carre's spy stories and is similarly complicated with lots of twists and turns and many characters which makes it a bit more difficult to follow as an audio book. It's excellently read, which helps, and is a good story, but you have to concentrate and not leave too long a gap between listening sessions otherwise you forget who is a goody and who a baddy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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